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MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012

Round 05: Catalunya

  • Overview
  • Race Results
  • Qualifying
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June 3, 2012

Pedrosa Scores Strong Second Place at Home Race

Local hero Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) rode to a determined second-place finish in today’s Catalan Grand Prix after a long battle with compatriot Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) had a tough race, crossing the line in fourth place, just behind Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha).

Following a wet morning warm-up, Stoner started from pole, but it was the fast-away Pedrosa who shot through from the second row to lead into turn one. The Spaniard stayed there for the first half dozen laps, except for a split second on lap three when Ben Spies (Yamaha) came past, ran wide and slid off. Lorenzo, however, was soon shadowing Pedrosa and moved ahead on lap seven. For the next few minutes Pedrosa bided his time, then moved ahead once more at the start of lap 12. For a while it looked like he might have made the race his own, but Lorenzo fought back after running wide at turn one and was able to take Pedrosa when the Honda rider ran wide at turn ten with five laps to go.

Reigning World Champion Stoner was never quite able to get on terms with the leading pair. Fifth at the end of the first lap he moved into fourth a few laps later, but was unable to make further progress due to issues with chatter and a rear tyre that did not work the way he had hoped. He spent the rest of the race behind Dovizioso, closing right up on the Italian in the final couple of laps, but he was unable to find a way past. This was the Australian’s first race finish off the podium since he joined Honda for the 2011 MotoGP season.

Pedrosa and Stoner were the only factory riders to choose the hard compound Bridgestone rear for this race because during practice they found the medium tyre ran too hot. Their factory Yamaha and Ducati rivals all went for the medium rear.

Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) had a strong race from the third row of the grid, coming through to a sixth-place finish after completing the first lap in tenth place. This result was the same as he scored at Jerez and Estoril, but this was his best race so far on the Honda because he was closer to the front than before.

MotoGP Rookie Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) finished eighth following a brilliant showing in the early laps when he showed brilliant fighting spirit while battling with much more experienced rivals. From mid-distance the reigning Moto2 World Champion found himself all alone and he ended the race almost five seconds behind Valentino Rossi (Ducati).

Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) enjoyed a great battle with several fellow CRT riders, eventually crossing the line in 14th for the third consecutive race. The Italian finished second best CRT, less than a second behind top CRT finisher Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia).

Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up) won a thrilling Moto2 race, beating Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter) by a fraction of a second on the last lap. Third-place finisher Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter) was in the leading group all the way until he had a moment with two laps remaining which then had him in collision with Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex) who crashed out. Marquez was later given a one-minute penalty for the incident, which put him 23rd in the final result.

The leading trio were very evenly matched, with overtaking opportunities hard to find in this ultra-close, Honda-powered series. Iannone led for much of the way, Marquez occasionally managing to grab the lead, only for Iannone to immediately snatch it back. Luthi did not make such a good start and took several laps to get with the leaders. Espargaro joined the lead group at half-distance, but found it difficult to make passes once he was there.

With three laps to go Luthi passed Marquez into turn ten, Marquez then almost crashed mid-corner and ran wide. When he came back on line he collided with Espargaro who was trying to pass on the inside. Espargaro had a heavy fall, but escaped with bruising.

That left Iannone and Luthi out on their own, with Marquez out of the fight, but still a very safe third. Luthi got ahead with one lap to go, then it was Iannone again. On the final lap Luthi made another move at turn ten, passing the Italian, but he could not hold his line and ran wide, allowing Iannone back into the lead. The pair crossed the line separated by just 0.08s. Marquez finished a further 1.1s seconds back.

Luthi’s result – his fourth consecutive podium – moved him into the championship lead, 17 points in front of Espargaro and Iannone. Marquez is now fourth after no scores here and at Le Mans a fortnight ago.

Esteve Rabat (Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex) won the contest for fourth, 11 seconds behind Marquez, and was then promoted to third following Marquez’s penalty.

Rabat was followed over the line by Simone Corsi (Came Ioda Racing Project – FTR), Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team-Kalex), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP Suter) and Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland – Kalex).

Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) scored a crushing victory in the Moto3 race, at one point more than ten seconds ahead of the pack disputing second place. During the final few hundred metres the brilliant Spanish teenager slowed to cruise over the finish line 7.7s ahead of second-placed Sandro Cortese (KTM).

Vinales, who started the race from pole, spent the early laps in the thick of the group disputing the lead, then at half distance he got his head down and made the break. While his rivals argued over the same piece of tarmac, Vinales made the best use of the clear road to rapidly build a winning advantage.

The contest for second was a real thriller, with up to eight riders swapping positions at every corner. Cortese crossed the line just 0.1s ahead of podium first-timer Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda), who was a fraction ahead of Le Mans winner Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany – FTR Honda) who had led the early laps.

Just 0.593s separated second place from ninth place, with Honda riders showing well in the group. Alexis Masbou (Caretta Technology – Honda) was fifth, wild card (and younger brother of Marc) Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda) sixth and Romano Fenati (Team Italian FMI – FTR- Honda) ninth after coming through from 17th on the first lap.

Vinales’ second victory of the year puts him second in the World Championship chase, seven points behind Cortese.

Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Casey STONER (Repsol Honda Team)
Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia)zoom
Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia)


Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd
“A second place is always a second, but I really wanted to win today, so I cannot feel happy. We’ve worked very hard during the practice sessions to be ready to win, but finally we couldn’t make it, so it’s a little bit disappointing. I pushed as much as I could, but in the final laps I had some issues to stay on the racing line. I pushed my best in the middle of the race, I tried to attack, but with 10 laps remaining I couldn’t keep the pace. It was hard to control the bike on braking and in the exit of the corners, so I was defensive because I knew my corner speed was not so good. I made a mistake and I had a big wheelie, so Jorge got past me and I couldn’t follow him. We cannot be happy today, but I have to congratulate my team because they worked very hard this weekend and we have to keep pushing for the next races to start winning soon.”
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: 4th
“I’m a little disappointed, we gave it everything at the end, but we just didn’t have the pace, especially in the beginning with the hard tyre. It seemed that only Dani could really make that tyre work today and he made it work better than us. With the performance we had during the weekend we expected to be a little stronger throughout the race, we knew the beginning was going to be tough, but we believed that towards the end we would be able to run a higher pace. We weren’t sure if the softer tyre was going to be a problem for us so we took the safer option today. We thought we had a better bike and better pace, but it didn’t come together. Still we came home with some points and we have the test here tomorrow to work on the chatter issues so I’m sure we’ll be back fighting at the top again soon.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 6th
“It is a shame that I didn’t get a perfect start. It’s bad enough being on the third row, but I managed to lose positions from there and had a tough battle to recover, especially with Valentino. The most pleasing thing about the fight with Rossi was that I passed him in the same place he passed Lorenzo for the win in 2009. Unfortunately the guys at the front had got too far ahead and by the time I was lapping at the same pace as them the tyres were dropping off and I couldn’t catch them. Next time we have to try hard to get a better position on the grid and make a better start but for now I am satisfied. It’s the same result as Jerez and Estoril, but with a much smaller gap to the podium and now we have the opportunity to build on it in the test tomorrow.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 8th
“In the first part of the race I could follow the top riders and I was very aggressive. But as soon as the tyres started to work properly we had some issue and it started spinning too much. We were on the hard tyre considering the last two days track temperature while the most of the guys in front were on the soft ones. Unfortunately the spinning started very early because we did not have enough edge grip compared to the other riders and we were also expecting to have more dry grip, but at the end it was not there. I am a bit frustrated because my potential and the bike package were there but we could not use the tyre correctly. Eighth position is still okay and in tomorrow’s testing day we are looking forward to improve the bike for future races.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 14th
“We always get a good start, but unlike the others I don’t seem to be able to push hard on fresh tyres. Over the rest of the race my pace is consistent so we need to work on not losing so much ground at the start of the race. I am sure we could have finished as the top CRT here today, but anyway this is still a good result and I had a lot of fun overtaking. I have to say a special thanks to the team, who are working round the clock to give me the means to do well. I do what I can and I am sure that if we continue to believe we will get our rewards.”


Andrea Iannone, Speed Master – Speed Up: race winner
“I am delighted with this victory. It was very difficult because Thomas and Marc were both extremely fast. My plan was to be there all the way and keep a strong rhythm. I want to thank the team for their hard work, especially for getting the bike so good after warm-up. And I hope that this victory and the sound of the Italian national anthem have put a smile on the faces of all the people in Italy affected by the earthquakes.”
Thomas Luthi, Interwetten-Paddock-Suter: 2nd
“That was very tough, especially with the heat. The big point for me was losing some positions after the start, so I was quite scared that Marc and Andrea might break away. So I pushed hard and fought back, got into third and stayed there because there was no chance to make any passes. Marc tried and found the same thing. I tried hard to preserve my rear tyre for the end, but I soon understood that I wouldn’t have much traction for the last few laps. It was a nice fight, but when I passed Andrea on the last lap I couldn’t hold my line, which was a pity. I tried everything to win – I didn’t think about the championship.”
Esteve Rabat, Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex: 3rd
“I am very happy with my second podium in Moto2, even though this time I wasn’t able to go to the podium to celebrate. Today the gap to the winner was a bit big and we must work to reduce it in the next races. Practice here did not go as expected, but in the race I made a step forward and if the opening laps had been better I might have been with the top four. The early laps were a big fight and when I escaped the first group were already far away. The end result makes me happy and hopeful for the upcoming races, but with the clear understanding we need to keep working hard to fight for the podium regularly.”


Maverick Vinales, Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda: race winner
“It was a little bit of a difficult race, because I was on my own up front for a long time. I pushed as hard as possible in order to get ahead. I wanted to escape anyway that I could and I kept my focus in every moment. It looked difficult at the start to get away, because the track was not in great condition and I didn’t know whether it was going to rain or not. However, when I saw the sun come out I decided to push. When I tried to break away from other riders slipstreaming me, I began to make a real gap. At one point I had a two-lap spell in which I really extended my advantage, when I really went all-out and achieved my best laps. I used the mindset that I had the others close behind and didn’t lose focus.”
Miguel Oliveira, Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter-Honda: 3rd
“That was a difficult race, because of the high temperatures that we have had here. In my group we were all going slower than Maverick, so he was able to escape. I had a battle with Efrén Vázquez and my teammate Álex Rins, and it was then that I lost ground. On the final lap I gave my all in order to get that podium, and I was able to do that. A first podium is always something special, and I’m sure that I won’t forget it. We are very consistent and I think that we will only improve as the season goes on. We have to carry on in the same way as up to now.”
Louis Rossi, Racing Team Germany – FTR Honda: 4th
“That was a very exciting race and also very important because it shows that we have taken another step forward after my win at Le Mans in the wet, because now we can fight for the podium in the dry. That’s the most important thing. At the start I was alone with Vinales, then everyone else came back at us. At the end I was fighting with Oliveira and we were so, so close to being on the podium.”
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)zoom
Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
Round 05: Catalunya

Rank Rider (Team)
1 Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing)
2 Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Andrea Dovizioso (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
4 Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda Team)
5 Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
6 Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
7 Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team)
8 Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP)
9 Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team)
10 Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing)
11 Hector Barbera (Pramac Racing Team)
12 Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing)
13 Aleix Espargaro (Power Electronics Aspar)
14 Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
15 Randy De Puniet (Power Electronics Aspar)
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Andrea Iannone (Speed Master)
2 Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock)
3 Esteve Rabat (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)
4 Simone Corsi (Came Iodaracing Project)
5 Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team)
6 Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP)
7 Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland)
8 Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team)
9 Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team)
10 Johann Zarco (JIR Moto2)
11 Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing)
12 Claudio Corti (Italtrans Racing Team)
13 Alex De Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)
14 Nicolas Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team)
15 Jordi Torres (Tech 3 Racing)
Rank Rider (Team)
1 Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia)
2 Sandro Cortese (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
3 Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
4 Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany)
5 Alexis Masbou (Caretta Technology)
6 Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0)
7 Hector Faubel (Bankia Aspar Team)
8 Zulfahmi Khairuddin (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)
9 Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI)
10 Luis Salom (RW Racing GP)
11 Jakub Kornfeil (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)
12 Niccolo` Antonelli (San Carlo Gresini Moto3)
13 Alan Techer (Technomag-Cip-TSR)
14 Alberto Moncayo (Bankia Aspar Team)
15 Jack Miller (Caretta Technology)

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